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Soldiers' Items Found

One of the  missions of Olive Tree Genealogy is to reunite found items such as  Dog ID Tags, Medals, etc of soldiers with their descendants. To date my readers have worked on the following cases and been successful in reuniting soldiers' dog id tags with family members.

We still have more cases coming in and we have old cases that have not yet been solved. If you have a moment would you read through one of the open cases below (marked in green) and help find family?

I welcome any found items from any war and any country. Be sure to send your request plus a photo or scan of the found item to

List of Found Soldiers' Dog ID Tags & Other Items
Need to send these back to Family

Our open cases  are:
#21. J. L. McFarland
#19: Buddy
#18 T. Kelly
#16 George Coleman
#11 John Thomas Dryborough
#6 George H. Stevens

My wonderful readers have solved and sent 16 dog tags home to family. Please scroll down to one of our unsolved cases for the link to their story.

24. Earl G. Gregory WW2 Navy ID tags
23. Leroy Tillery, WW2  Also see Update Case #23 US Army WW2 Leroy Tillery
22. Help Return WW2 Soldier Edwin Manktelow Dog Tag SOLVED Read the Happy Ending and see photos
21. J. L. McFarland 
20. WW2 Soldier's Letters Found - Need Help Returning Them to Family UPDATE! Found Sam Gentile's grandson
19. Buddy. U.S. Army Dog Tag found at Whittington Barracks, England OPEN CASE
18.  T. Kelly WW1 American Soldier's Dog Tag Rescued OPEN CASE
17. Harold Western CEF WW1 Dog Tags Found in France Case solved!
16. George Coleman - WW2 Dog Tag found in Wales OPEN CASE
15. Lester Lorfing of Texas - WW 2 Dog Tag found OPEN CASE
Important! Phone numbers and addresses found of Lester's son(s) but unable to contact person who found the dog tag and asked for help.
14. R. H. Smedley - WW1 engraved Pocket Watch found in Michigan. Belonged to Ronald H. Smedley, born England, lived Ontario Canada until 1920 then moved to Detroit Michigan. SOLVED. See the comments on the original post from Ronald's grandchildren, what an amazing story! 
13. Harry aka Henry Taylor. WW2 British Soldier hidden from German Army in Italy. Settled in California SOLVED See the details of the happy ending
12. Arthur Cohen. WW2 American Soldier's Dog Tag found in France. CASE SOLVED Dec. 2012
11. John Thomas Drybrough. WW1 Canadian Soldier's Dog Tag found in France OPEN CASE.
10. Edward Jones -New on Nov. 29/11 CASE SOLVED Jan. 18/12 Edward's Dog Tag has been returned to family and they've written a thank-you letter to the man who found it and sent it home.
9.  L. J. Holston Jr. - Dog Tag found by Alex in Germany. Leonard's niece found and contacted but no word from Alex or Lemmy with an update on whether dog tag is going home or has already gone
UPDATE Nov. 27/11: Leonard's daughter has been found and her email contact and name sent to Alex. Waiting for word from Alex re sending the dog tag home
8. Samuel P. Loftus . Found in W. Norfolk, U.K. Found son and daughter. Contacted son but no response.  UPDATE Nov. 29/11: Samuel's daughter has been contacted and the dog tag is being mailed to her this week! CASE SOLVED Dec. 13/11: Dog tag safely home with Samuel's daughter and family. See "American Soldier Dog Tag: Home for Christmas!" for pictures and story
7. James F. Courtney. Dog Tag found in Normandy. Found and contacted grandson and other relatives but contact lost. Dog Tag still not returned. CASE SOLVED
6. George H. Stevens. U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. OPEN CASE
5. T. H. Stull  Marine Corps WW2 CASE SOLVED Dec. 2012 It took 2 years but we did it! Contact has been made with Thomas Stull's nephew James. See Another Happy Ending!
4. Randall E. Packard. Dog Tag found in Australia. UPDATE Found and contacted Randall's wife
3. Donald G. Watts. Dog Tag found in Germany.UPDATE Grandson found and contacted. Donald still living
2. Lieutenant Thomas J. Lilliard. Dog Tag found in Germany. CASE SOLVED  Family found and dog tags sent home. Read We did it! Reuniting a MIA American soldier's dog tags with family
1. Stanley Thompson - Dog Tag found in Australia. CASE SOLVED Returned to family. See American Soldier's Lost WW2 Dog Tags Going Home!


Liesa Healy-Miller said...

Hi Lorine! Great that you're doing this! I have a Navy ID tag I found in a thrift shop in Australia some years've inspired me to again try to find its owner (and if I can't, I may pass on the name to you)!

Anonymous said...

Hi Loraine, Fantastic that this is being done. I would like to know if a tag has been found for EBBIE HANCOCK who served as a Bandsman in WW1. He came from Ipswich, Suffolk, England and moved over to Canada in time to serve. How do I go about looking apart from this site please? Thanks in advance for any help you can give.
Maggie Andersen nee GOODWIN/HANCOCK

Anonymous said...

How do I see info for Arthur Cohen case?

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

I've added the link to Arthur Cohen.

If you find a link not working or missing, just use the right side nav bar for topic choices. Choose LOST & FOUND or DOG TAGS

blue-eyed kentucky said...

Hi Lorine,
I just wanted to tell you how much I LOVE what you're doing! I'm working now to return a Japanese passport to the family of a woman killed during the Battle of Okinawa. I know how much it would mean to me for someone to take the time to return a family keepsake to me. Thanks for your work!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful amazing thing you are doing for these families! I can't imagine the joy they must feel to have these precious keepsakes restored to the family. Keep it up and bless you for your work!

Diane Gould Hall said...

This is my first time coming across this part of your blog. What an absolutely wonderful thing to do. I read through all the names, hoping I would know someone. Sadly, I don't.
Thank you so much for doing this wonderful service for those who have served our country.

God bless,

Anonymous said...

HI I found John Thomas Dryborough details



Regimental Number:


Date of Birth:



RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 2680 - 10

Item Number:


Unknown said...

Thank you for doing this great service. It blends well with what I am trying to do. I have photos of young men from the Korean War. The place was Camp Hakata, Japan. The soliders were associtated with the 24th division, 13th Artillery Battery, Company B
. The photographer was my father-in-law David E. Hall. He was called his friends. His rank was Corporal. I am trying to find the men in these photos to send them back to them or to their families. I found out that these might be the very last photos taken of them. The time was Summer 1949 and they were having a great time. Then the Koean conflict happened. These young me were 18-30 years old. This bunch was one of the first to go to Korean when it was just a conflict and not a war yet. My father-in-law was in the first batch, was wounded and met his wife in the Camp hospital. However the second and third waves were not so lucky. So many of his friends died. He never took anymore pictures of people only places after that. He never told his sons what happened in Japan except that was where he met their mother. I would like to give the actual photo itself ( all black and white) to the family. I have them on Ancient Faces and on the Korean War website. My contact information is for anyone that had a solider at Camp Hakata.

David said...

This is from my wife, Catherine Bell. I don't yet know how to upload a photo.

Dear Lorine,

Thank you so much for helping me connect with Mick, the gentleman who found my father's dog tag. He sent the tag, along with a compass, wings and maps of the Seething Airfield to me in care of my son who resides in Manchester, England.

As it turned out, my daughter and I were planning a visit to my son this July, so we were all able to open Mick's package together.

I don’t know who was the most excited to see what Mick had sent me, my children or grandchildren. My 10-year old granddaughter Mariam had studied WWII quite extensively at her school and acted in a play about the Blitz. When she was studying, she had taken a copy picture of my father and his crew to show her classmates. My grandson, Adam was full of questions that you can imagine any 9-year old boy would want to know.

Everyone wanted to hold the dog tag. How amazing to be touching something that my father wore during those dangerous missions. It is hard to believe that out of all the dog tags that must be lost out there Mick would find my dad's.

Along with the dog tag, Mick sent a compass he found at the airfield and a set of pilot wings. When we examined the compass, my granddaughter exclaimed, “It’s stuck. That must be the direction it was pointing when it was lost.” When the children realized that it was lost almost 75 years ago, they were blown away. It is impossible to know who lost the compass and the wings. We can only hope that they survived the war and went on to happy lives. All the items will be kept together and passed on to my son and grandchildren.

My son and I spent quite a long time going over the maps. They must have been top secret when they were created in 1944. It is incredible to think that they were done with such precision in the time before computers. Drawing maps by hand is probably becoming a lost art.

I’ll be visiting my brother soon and will be surprising him with what Mick found. I’m going to start by having him read the post on Olive Tree.

I’m hoping that sometime in the future my husband and I along with all the family can meet Mick and go with him to the Seething field. We all want to see where he found the dog tag and get a feel for the place that was such a significant part of my father’s life.

Please thank everyone involved in this search. My father and I were very close. There are some people we lose in life that we wish we could have even five minutes more with. He is one of those people for me. Finding the dog tag was almost like getting those five minutes back.

All the best,

Catherine (Kit) Bell

P.S. This is a photo of my father that was taken when he completed his flight training. He gave it to his sister Betty.